We don’t have a clear definition of life, of course. Is a virus alive? What about an interdependent ecosystem? NASA defines life as an entity capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution. That props up Darwinism but does little to define life. But this new proposed definition is definitely a walk on the wild side:
So biologist Chris Kempes and complex systems researcher David Krakauer from Sante Fe Institute in New Mexico have posed the idea that our focus on evolution as a driving force of life may have “blinded us to additional general principles of life”.
To explore this, the researchers broaden the definition of “life” to the union of two energetic and informatic processes that can encode and pass on adaptive information forward through time.
Using this definition vastly increases what can be seen as life, to include concepts such as culture, forests, and the economy. A more traditional definition might consider these as products of life, rather than life itself.
“Human culture lives on the material of minds, much like multicellular organisms live on the material of single-celled organisms,” Kempes explains.
Based on their new definition, the researchers argue that life has emerged many times on Earth, and that we in fact are co-existing with many forms of current life.Tessa Koumoundouros, “Scientists Are Proposing a Radical New Framework to Redefine Life on Earth” at ScienceAlert
The paper is open access.
It’s understandable. See, for example: Unclassifiable living structure: Not an animal, plant or fungus — or protist — but still a life form. Fuligo septica is also known by the attractive name of “dog vomit slime mold.” It’s maybe a “protist,” which could be expert-ese for “we don’t know for sure.” It seems that life comes into existence whether it can be classified or not.
On the other hand, when we define “the economy” as “life,” what follows? Dollar bills are cells?
No, they are not cells. They power the economy only through human recognition, not on their own physical contribution of any type.
Nice try, guys, Keep thinking.